Barnes & Noble is one of the oldest bookstores in America; the store that would later become the first Barnes & Noble was opened in 1886. Barnes & Noble rose to success during the golden age of bookstores - which, yes, was also the age before ereaders existed. To its credit, in addition to its robust online bookstore, Barnes & Noble is one of the only major US retail booksellers with brick-and-mortar locations still standing (at about one-third the size of Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million is a very distant second).
Of the ten New York Times bestselling books we used to compare the selections of online bookstores, Barnes & Noble carried each title in print and ebook versions, and all but one in audio. Barnes & Noble also ranked right behind Amazon for lowest prices, making it our second-place contender in this category. In addition to new and collectible print books, Barnes & Noble also offers magazines, music, movies, tv shows and an affiliated used-book marketplace on its site, as well as large libraries of ebooks and audio books. It also offers students the option to buy new or used textbooks and sell back old textbooks.
Barnes & Noble's site is well-organized and easy-to-use. There are features for basic and advanced searches, browsing by category and saving a wishlist. Barnes & Noble also features a distinct benefit of having 658 brick-and-mortar stores nationwide: you can locate and reserve a book at a store near you, then simply go pick it up instead of waiting for it to arrive in the mail.
For the reader who likes to research before buying, Barnes & Noble offers ample editorial and user reviews of its titles, as well as a section of tabs called More About This Book. This section includes information such as the suggested reader's age, related categories to browse, a profile of the author, interviews with the author, excerpts of the book and more. The information Barnes & Noble includes about each title and author is much more thorough than what we found on any other online bookstore we reviewed.
For the avid ebook reader, Barnes & Noble manufactures a line of NOOK devices and over one million ebook titles, including a massive section of under-$5 titles as well as Book Bundles, which are series of books that can be purchased as packages in order to save money.
Barnes & Noble also offers an inexpensive membership program with lots of perks. For a $25 annual fee, Barnes & Noble Members receive 40% off hardcover bestsellers, 10% off other items, free express shipping with no minimum purchase required and member-exclusive coupons. In terms of the cost-to-benefit ratio, this is the best membership package we saw during our review process.
Barnes & Noble supports charitable causes by sponsoring and donating to a variety of literary, arts and educational organizations at the local and national levels. Barnes & Noble's 2013 Holiday Book Drive succeeded in collecting over 1.5 million books that were distributed to children in need through local charities across America. Its Summer Reading Program "fosters literacy and puts more than one million books in the hands of children each year." Barnes & Noble also participates in local book fairs, supplies local libraries with books and invites children to visit its store locations for free storytimes and activities.
As with the Kindle, the NOOK is primarily intended to support NOOK books. If you'd like to read a file format other than a PDB, PRC or ePub on your NOOK, you'll need to either convert the file or download another app to read it on. This can be a hassle for readers who have acquired an extensive ebook collection from other sources.
While Barnes & Noble's basic search function worked pretty well, sometimes it's necessary to conduct a more advanced search - but you'll have a hard time finding where to click to do so. We found the Advanced Search option at the very bottom of the site under the internal footer links. This is a minor gripe but it could cause some serious frustration if you're in a hurry and find yourself having to ironically search for the Advanced Search.
Super fast support and great discount. Always there to help me find the right book!
Great sales on a variety of books! I love shopping online and getting the books for decent prices
Have good value for books, definitely beats Amazon with prices, I brought a book from them. It was reasonably priced because it included shipping.
Barnes & noble was a great choice to find my books. The websites were easy and the prices were perfect. I found all the mangas I ever wanted
Natalia Correa MDTribe
Barnes and Nobles never fails me. They have every kind of book possible. They also have amazing customer service.
Love this bookstore. Super dependable but their variety could use updating, in reference to having newer books that aren't mainstream.
I love going to Barnes and Noble just to walk around, I have done it for years and it is easily one of the most relaxing things to do for me. I calmly peruse the sections and figure out what books to add to my reading list. The only downside is that I rarely ever buy a book because they are so expensive.
I love using Barnes & noble online. It’s always a good way to get my textbooks for college at a better price!
Barnes & Noble is a fantastic book store through and through. They have a wide variety. With an easy to use website. They are the best!
I love the selection provided by Barnes & Noble. I get excited every time I get a gift card! I just can’t wait to get new books!
Barnes & Noble always offers an elevated book buying experience online. I prefer their selection and at good prices. Never once have I been disappointed in the quality or timeliness of the books purchased. I hope Barnes & Noble sticks around for a long time to come as it has become a favorite online seller!
The books they have are very interesting and the coffee shop is brilliant because the are always listening
Bought tons and tons of educational, and fun interactive books for my niece in India. Found exactly what I was looking for, spent a good $100 but I know these books will last for generations... that's how good the content and the quality is. Very Happy with my purchase.
Angie L Hanzel
When I'm looking for a particular book I usually go to Barnes and Noble. They rarely have sales though so you are usually paying full price for the product. I do like their online feature where you can search for books at a store near you and they will usually have it on hold for you within an hour. It is a relaxing store to browse and they usually have any book you want or can order it in for you.
I love that bookstores are still around. There’s just something special about holding a book! I shop Barnes and Noble all the time. The store is huge and the employees are always willing to help me find my way around!
Great selection and a good place to go to find any book that you need.
I really the nook I just purchased from Barnes and Noble. So helpful to read books I love at the pool! Employees were very helpful.
Barnes & Noble has plenty of books on sale, and it seems that every time someone gives me a gift card, it's for this store. The website is user friendly, and the books arrive in excellent condition.
Awesome book store. Buy a lot of my books here. I enjoy the store environment too
Good selection of books. High quality. Order came on time.
Buy a lot of my books at Barnes & Noble. They make your online and in-store experience good. Would recommend
Anne Marie Milne
I used to use Barnes & Noble but have found it is too expensive. I find better deals elsewhere so unfortunately I don't think their store is the best way to go if you want to find the best prices. If prices don't matter, they are great. Brand new everything. It just depends on your price range.
Great place with a great atmosphere! I always have help finding what I’m looking for!
I love browsing Barnes & Noble, but I never buy books from there because they are way too expensive. It is a lot better to go through another company because other companies have a lot better deals. However, around Christmas time I have noticed they have pretty good sales. Overall, I wouldn't recommend if you want to find the cheapest option.
My favorite place to go book shopping. Could spend hours in there.
I absolutely love books! This is one of my favorite places to get them. I could spend hours searching for new great reads. They have great customer service and always have the newest books.
I love the selection of books at barnes and noble. Its such a great bookstore!
My grandma and I love Barnes and Noble. It is great place to buy books. There is nothing spectacular or bad about it but the store has everything you need. It is always clean in there and you can also get some coffee inside the store. I really like that.
I love Barnes and Noble. If you need a book. They got it. Need a snack. They got it. Service is great . They need to do some major advertisement tho to get themselves out there.
Books might seem a little pricey but if you have a membership card it helps to lower the price. The books are high quality and they have a large range of DVDs and CDs.
Great place to get a good book and place to sit and enjoy reading.
I really enjoy Barnes & Noble, but it is definitely steep priced compared to Amazon and other smaller bookstores. When you buy from Barnes & Noble, you know you're getting quality.
Barnes & Noble is one of my favorite places to get books. I also really enjoy using Nook. It makes it really easy for me to get the books i want and to always have them ready to read on my phone. I've been able to read a lot of books because of it and I really enjoy it.
Barnes & Noble has a great selection of books and I love the fact that they still have brick-and-mortar stores. Sometimes it's fun to go to an actual store and browse for an actual book that you can hold in your hands.
Very consistent with their books and return policies, but they are usually more expensive than other bookstores.